Oil standby vessel work plays part in ‘very busy’ time for Macduff Shipyards

The Macduff Shipyards launch area at Buckie Harbour
This is the Fishing Vessell, BCK35, Caledonia iii at its launching at hight tide about 0140hrs on Thursday 17 March 2018 at Buckie Harbour, Macduff Shipyards launch area. The shipmis owned by Mr Steven Clarke and was constructed by Macduff Shipyards. Photographed by Brian Smith T/A Jasperimage. ©

Macduff Shipyards said yesterday its latest results reflect a “very busy” time for the north-east boatbuilder.

A 3.5% rise in the value of new boat sales, to £9.8 million, during the year to February 28, 2018 – amid a resurgence of confidence in the Scottish fishing industry – drove a 10% increase in turnover to £26m.

Macduff said it had invested “heavily” in the business, resulting in a 5% drop in pre-tax profits to £1.85m.

Managing director John Watt added: “These latest accounts are a reflection of the yard being very busy, with several new-build projects ongoing and a healthy order book going forward.

“Regular re-fit and repair work carried out on fishing vessels, oil standby vessels, fish farm barges, work boats and ferries were also secured during the year, and our business remains diverse servicing a number of industry sectors.

“Our profiling, crane hire and precision engineering divisions have also performed well and continue to develop satisfactorily”.

Mr Watt said the firm “continued to invest heavily in our business and people”, adding: “At present we have 40 young people either in work experience from college, modern apprenticeships or HNC (Higher National Certificate) courses.”

The company which operates from sites in Macduff, Fraserburgh and Buckie, currently employs more than 200 people.

Expansion in recent years has seen it acquire the main fabrication building and machinery from the liquidators of Buckie Shipyards. and, during 2017, buying the former Herd and Mackenzie’s shipyard from Moray Council.

Mr Watt said: “There is a great potential in Buckie harbour and we have invested heavily in the refurbishment of the shipyard.

“The boat shed has been fully refurbished and is now operational again.

“We are planning to have the refurbished slipway up and running for summer 2019.

“The slipways in Macduff and Fraserburgh are working close to maximum capacity many times during the year, and we see the new facility in Buckie as one that will complement the existing slips and attract vessels that cannot be easily handled at present.

“This will increase the overall capacity in the north-east of Scotland, which has a strong tradition of shipbuilding and ship repair.”